The Colonial Opera House Threatre also in view the Lodge Building
In early 1900’s a group of young brothers had a grand vision that one day they would have their own Lodge Home they were brothers of the Loyal Flower of the Day Lodge #6347. It would be a mammoth task, but with determination they formulated plans to erect a building that would stand as a legacy until the end of time. During the era of racism it was not easy to achieve that goal. Five Black Brothers, made up their minds this was going to become a reality. After many meetings with their brother Lodgepermission was granted to purchase the land and proceed with the plans.
Brother Clarence Orister Darrell a business man of note who held some clout with the white establishment interceded and the land was purchased on Victoria Street. When the white businessmen found out that Brother Darrell had purchased the land not for himself but the Lodge Order they were furious but the deal was done. They stated “Had we known this is what you wanted the land for we wouldnever have agreed to the sale’ racism as obvious as the nose on ones face.The brothers involved in the building were Brother William ‘Syke’ Smith Master Designer, Brothers William ‘Willie” Stowe, Adolphus D Dickinson, Henry Heard, William Francis Wilson 2nd. known to some as ( W.F ), the youngest of the group and lead Mason, the work began. Once completed people looked in awe at such a magnificent structure with it’s Gothic Style. It became known as The Colonial Opera House Theatre adjacent it housed a Minerial Water Factory operated by William F. Wilson 2nd. and Seth O Hinson and in later years W,F, Sons and brothers -in-laws. The Manchester Unity Lodge Room was on the upper floor situated on the corner of Union Square which in its self has a story to tell and Victoria Street was built. Unfortunately the theatre after being rented out as a church was destroyed by fire in 1976 and was never rebuilt the lodge room still standsand on many occasions used for cultural activities as well as their meetings.
See full store of the Opera House Theatre “A legacy Destroyed ‘ in the book Bermuda’s Forgotten Heroes’ Our Greatest Legacy’ by Joy Wilson-Tucker
Richard Bascome was born in the area of his West Over Farm. He grew up accepting responsibility from an early age. His family returned to Somerset when he was age nine where he could be closer to his maternal grandparents. During this time Mr. Bascome senior raised cows and pigs. Richard along with his siblings had various chores to complete before attending school for the day. Often he travelled to West Side Marketing Centre to deliver farm produce for sale and deliver milk at times to Woody’s in Dockyard. In 1953 Richard travelled to an all trade school at Hampton Institute and later he moved to Ohio and served in the U.S. Air force as a fuel specialist. He took advantage of this career and lived in Texas, California and Korea.
He returned home in 1962, and sought work outside of farming, but as the need to help his family increased, he went back to the farm at West Side. He operates the only slaughter house on the Island, this is a lucrative part of his services to other farmers. Diary farming contributions is a significant portion of his farming as well. His two sons joined in the work along with a small staff.
As technology improves Mr. Bascome expresses his thoughts that every day the farmer has to look for ways to improve. He continues to supply milk for the Island as well as fresh meat which can be purchased twice a week.
He was acknowledged by Bermuda for continuing the family legacy of his parents and the services offered through the years by the Bascome family at West Over Farm.
When we think about visionaries we must remember Lloyd Telford born on the 5th of February 1934, he grew up during the racial divide with one set of standards of respect to one race and another set of standards to the other. Lloyd learned at an early age how to navigate in such a racially divided society attempting to be a successful human being while maintaining his dignity and individualism. He attended West End School in Somerset and at age 15 years he entered the five year Apprentice Ship programme at the old Royal Naval Dockyard. When the Dockyard closed in 1950 he was one of the apprentices sent by the Admiralty to Britain to complete their Apprentice-ship at Port-mouth Dockyard.
Mr. Telford ably acquitted himself at Port-mouth and on completion of his training, he was offered a commission in the Royal Navy as a Marine Electrical Engineer, which he declined. He entered employment at the Bermuda Electric Light Company and later at the U.S. Naval Base at Morgan’s Island.
He launched out on his own in 1959, providing electrical service to his community from his home, from these humble beginnings he and his family established the Telford Industrial Complex at Well Bottom in Southampton, and the Telford Depot building in Somerset. He was the founder of the Telford Mile, the youth competition for runners of ages 4-17 years and this event continues to be supported by the community and younger Telford family.
A thank you goes to Mr. Telford Sr, and his workers for his contribution of electrical work to the Bermudian Heritage Museum in 1998. Our good deeds should never go unnoticed.